Getting Your Business Online: A Step by Step Guide

Getting Your Business Online: A Step by Step Guide

WWpve  Create your business name.

A few things to keep in mind:
1. It should be fairly easy to remember and translate into a logo or recognizable symbol in some way. No need to decide on       this now, just keep it in mind.

Keep it simple, relevant and understandable.

2. It should also be usable as a domain name (think a website and email address). Google search your potential business name to make sure the domain is available. (Don’t search for it in a domain purchasing site just yet or you’ll drive the price up.)
3. It should usable as the title of your Facebook page, Instagram account or whatever social media is applicable to your business.
4. Try to keep it simple, you don’t want to force your customers to type out an insanely long email address every time they want to contact you.

Create a Facebook Page:

This is a non-personal page where you can promote your new business without having to rely on your personal Facebook page. It is much more professional looking and gives you more options for customer interaction and follow-up. I would recommend this for almost any new (or existing) business. It’s a fast way to free advertising and customer contact.

Grow your business without totally annoying your current friend base.

Facebook gives some handy instructions.

Secure your domain name:
Find a relatively cheap web-hosting service and sign up for your chosen domain name. Most will offer a very competitive pricing option for the initial sign up. Typically, you are paying for three years of the domain name, website and email hosting up to a certain volume of storage capacity.

If you are not setting up a stand alone website right now, you may not need a web host. However, you DO still need a domain. You can go ahead and purchase the domain name from one of the registrars, like or A simple domain purchase can be very inexpensive ($5-$30 for 3 years).

A few hosts I’ve used:
Host Gator
Blue Host

You can always google “top web hosts” and choose a reputable website that ranks them for you, they sometimes also provide pricing info so you can make a good comparison.

Set up your email address(es):
Many web hosts will offer this service. However, I would recommend signing up for a Google business account (G-Suite). You get a lot more functionality, it’s familiar to most people, and a relatively low cost per month (about $6 per user). This bags you all of the online programs like Docs, Sheets & Slides too. Google also offers a ton of other features you can add as necessary (Adwords, Adsense, Analytics, etc.) so this keeps it all in one place. Easy peasy.

Set up G-Suite here.


If you don’t think you’ll need all the bells and whistles, then by all means stick with the email provided by your web host! Most can now be configured to easily be synced to your phone or other device so they’re not quite as difficult to use as in years past.

When in doubt, stick with the FREE option. Don’t pay for what you don’t need. 

Set up your website:
There are a few things to consider here. More often than not, most people assume they need a standalone website, but it really depends on the nature of your business. A photographer or home decorator may invest a lot of time in a photo gallery through Picasa or Houzz and not need another web address. For these types of business, social media and the appropriate external site may be more than sufficient. For someone like a chef or an educator trying to sell their own content or services, a website might be beneficial so that they can offer their potential customers a snippet of the content for free (via blogging or sneak peaks, etc.) and then give the customers ways to learn or purchase more.

Think about the sites you love, then build your version of that.

There’s a reason you love them.

I always recommend for a new website. It is infinitely customizable and you can hire people (via, and other sites) very reasonably to make it look or do exactly what you want. If you’re a bit techy, you can do most of it on your own and not spend a dime. As your business grows, so does WordPress. Other options may be easier to get moving at the outset but an complicate things as you want to add features and customization later on.

All that best said, there is a reason there are incredibly well designed websites out there and it’s worth finding someone who designs templates or even hire a custom designer to make your website not only gorgeous, but also draw your visitors eyes to to things you’re trying to market. The sky is the limit, so as your business grows, don’t be afraid to revisit your site, branding, logos and adapt as you are able.

First steps:
1. Log into your web host and they will likely have a portal. Go ahead and set up your account. You may be prompted to install WordPress into your site, that’s fine.
2. Take a look around the “Dashboard”. This is where you’ll go to make any changes to your site.
3. Choose a Theme (lots of free ones available or you can pay for a premium theme).
4. Add your content (even if it’s just some basics for now).
5. Think about what sort of functionality you want. (Contact form, photo display, landing page, email collection, etc.). These are added through plugins, so take a look through what is available. Google searches are also a good way to start. Just keep in mind you don’t want to overload your site with plugins or it’ll slow everything down.

If you’re not entirely sure about the whole blog/website vs. social media thing, you can always set up a no cost site. There are fewer options, themes and customization, but it’s a quick and easy way to get a feel for WordPress before you decide where you want to spend your time.

Here’s a quick guide.